A morning at Cades Cove usually turns out to be a morning well spent. No matter how many times I've visited, each morning turns out to be different, offering something interesting to photograph. The Cove takes you back in time a little bit, makes you think about what life might have been like 100-150 years ago. And there's always something magical happening. That' really what I like to experience and photograph. The nice views are looking South across the valley floor to the distance mountain ridges. The key is to set up quickly and be ready for the low angular sidelight of sunrise to make an appearance--and an impression.
In the image above I wanted to show the bright orange grasses that were lit by the low sunrise light with some interesting clouds hanging above the mountain ridges. I think the orange and blue color contrast is pleasing and the trail of grasses starting with the foreground group catches your eye and encourages you to explore deeper into the scene. Although the Cades Cove signature fog did not show up, it was nice to include some early spring color in the trees below the mountain ridge.
Image capture details
Canon 5D Mark II TS-E 24mm lens 1/15 sec. at f/16 3 image stitch processed in LR and PS